The before-and-afters in the slides above are not retouched. The models are shown with bare skin at left, and with an application of the Clinique CC Cream at right.
Mar 20, 2013
Latest Makeup Trend
What is a CC Cream?
It seems like literally yesterday that I wrote a brief little exposé on BB Creams—you know, the best ones, how to wear them, and why on Earth they were different than your go-to tinted moisturizer. To recap, a quote from Gregory Arlt, who’s the director of makeup artistry over at MAC Cosmetics: “Think of BB as a skincare plus… It’s an excellent makeup primer… [and] will help to control oil and lock in moisture.” In short, it’s a super-tinted.
Imagine my consternation when, over dinner with my dear companion and fellow beauty authority Amber Katz (better known as Beauty Blogging Junkie), I was alerted to another trend. “My friend just got me Chanel’s CC Cream from Asia,” she said excitedly. “It’s my new favorite thing.”
I got nervous. When Olay launched their CC Cream last year, it didn’t seem to create quite the wave in the market that was anticipated. But maybe we wrote off the next big thing too soon.
LORAC Pro Artist Dean Fournier shared my frustrations: “BB Creams have overwhelmed the market. When we caught wind of that a year and a half ago, we were like, ‘We’re gonna do it… No wait. Let’s do what’s next.”
Holding LORAC’s CC Cream (out in April) like a trophy, he explained, “CC Creams are color correcting creams. It’s multi-functional, like a beauty balm, but the biggest goal is instant color correction.”
LORAC’s formula is designed with a yellow and green pigment, which specifically targets redness. “Green, obviously being the opposite of red on the color wheel,” Fournier explained. But, I wondered as I dabbed it onto my skin and felt its heavy texture, isn’t that because of the coverage? “The color correcting is not because it’s opaque. It’s a neutralization effect.”
This being a CC, it also has soothing properties (aloe, calendula), brightening abilities (Vitamin C), anti-aging components (white tea), and a whole host of other miracle workers.
Practically moments after leaving Dean, I was en route to an event with Clinique. Their new launch, they promised, was going to be a game-changer.
“This is advanced color correction,” explained Ida Wong, Clinique’s Executive Director Treatment of Product Development. “It contains a dual layer optic, which is a white powder in its raw form. It doesn’t pay off any color, but it instantly brightens and neutralizes dullness.”
Instead of the yellow-green approach Lorac took, Clinique’s color-correcting miracle is lavender. “We had to address a variety of color concerns,” said Wong. “Asian skin, for example, tends to get yellow and dull. Deep skin tones get ashy. And fair skin tones show redness. Lavender corrects by bringing light to the skin.”
To the best of this writer’s knowledge, Clinique is the first brand to properly address a diverse range of skin tones in its initial CC launch. (Major kudos are in order.) Naturally, I passed the shade range around the office, keeping mine for myself.
The next day, three of my coworkers came up to me, excited to show off their new skin. “I can never find a foundation that gets rid of my redness,” said one, who struggles with rosacea. “Honestly, this actually worked.” To see the results for yourself, the models in the photos above are shown with and without an application of Clinique's CC Cream.
The product’s intense density is a bit surprising (but good news, since it’ll stay in your makeup bag for longer than your BB). Applying dots to sections of the face—forehead, bridge of nose, and apples of cheeks—was the best way to go, layering extra only where needed. You can pick up your own at Sephora for $35.
Complicating matters further would be Dr. Jart, the Korean skincare brand that literally brought the BB stateside. Their CC (out in April) comes in compact form with a sponge—essentially making it a makeup product—and will be available in two shades. The brand claims that this CC product stands for “Complete Care” (not Color Correction, as is the norm) and is designed to “complement” the BB Cream by providing extra coverage where needed. While it still totes the same myriad benefits (Vitamins A-E for brightening, plumping, sun-protecting, etc) it will not compete with the line’s existing creams.
“I love my CC because it’s a one-step skin care and foundation. I use it for low-key weekend days, I pack it on every trip I take so I don’t have to do a whole moisturizer-SPF-foundation song and dance, and I even put it on before the gym.”
In other words, for the girl who requires a bit of extra coverage from her BB, the CC is here to stay. It’s either your foundation replacement or booster, but either way, its massive complexion benefits address an audience that the BB simply couldn’t.
And once the warmer weather rolls around and the weekends start turning into weekdays (rosé and sangria have that effect, don’t they?), you’ll be begging for a complexion boost that’ll rid you of signs from the night before.
The answer will be as simple as CC. —Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi)